UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD)

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India's permanent representative to the UN recently chaired an insightful member-state briefing in preparation for the 62nd UN Commission for Social Development.

About UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD)

  • CSocD, formerly known as the Social Commission, is a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
  • It has been in existence since the very inception of the United Nations, advising ECOSOC and governments on a wide range of social policy issues and from the social perspective of development.
  • Purpose:
    • Its primary purpose is to advance social development and formulate policies and recommendations to address global social issues.
    • It focuses on topics such as poverty eradication, social inclusion, and the promotion of equitable and sustainable development.
    • Since the 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen , the CSocD has been the key UN body in charge of the follow-up and implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action.
  • Membership:
    • Originally 18, membership has been increased several times, most recently in 1996, and now stands at 46.
    • Members are elected by ECOSOC based on equitable geographical distribution for four-year terms. 
  • Meetings:
    • The CSocD meets every year at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, typically in February.
    • During its meetings, member states, international organisations, and civil society representatives come together to discuss and address various social development issues.

Key Facts about Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

  • It is one of the six principal organs of the UN, which was established by the UN Charter (1945).
  • It is responsible for the direction and coordination of the economic, social, humanitarian, and cultural activities carried out by the UN.
  • Decisions are taken by a simple majority vote. The presidency of ECOSOC changes annually.
  • Members:
    • It has 54 members, which are elected for three-year terms by the General Assembly.
    • Four of the five permanent members of the Security Council have been continuously re-elected.
    • This is because they provide funding for most of ECOSOC’s budget, which is the largest of any UN subsidiary body.
  • Functions:
    • ECOSOC is responsible for coordinating the social and economic fields of the organization, specifically in regards to the 15 specialized agencies, the five regional commissions under its jurisdiction and eight functional commissions.
    • It also serves as a central forum to discuss international social and economic issues and formulate policy recommendations addressed to the member states and the United States system.

Q1) What is the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action?

They were both adopted at the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1995, attended by 186 countries joined by 2,300 representatives from 811 non-governmental organizations . The summit aimed to address global social challenges and promote social development as an integral part of overall development efforts.The Copenhagen Declaration is a political document that reflects the commitment of world leaders to address social issues and promote the well-being of people globally. It emphasizes the importance of social development as a key component of sustainable development.

Source: Ruchira Kamboj chairs briefing ahead of 62nd UN Commission for Social Development